BELOIT - Children were having fun on zip lines and in bounce houses while adults were taking tours of medical departments in Beloit Memorial Hospital during the hospital's 50th anniversary celebration on Saturday.
Tim McKevett, president and CEO of Beloit Health System, said he was glad to see so many people turn out for the celebration, which gave him and his staff an opportunity to thank the community for its support.
"It is a day to reflect and realize how many lives we have impacted - it is humbling," he said.
He added that the success of the hospital and the Beloit Health System over the last 50 years is not due to brick and mortar buildings or medical equipment.
"It is 100 percent attributed to our employees. They drive our success and I am humbled to be part of that team," he said.
Lara Hermann, Beloit Health System Foundation director, said all the employees at the hospital had been looking forward to Saturday's celebration.
"The enthusiasm has been so high this week," she said. "Really our main goal is to thank the community for letting us be part of their story so they can be part of our story."
Part of the celebration was a Baby Homecoming, where everyone who had been born in the past 50 years at the hospital was welcomed back with buttons, prizes and a trip to the photo booth.
Jennifer Krueger and her two children, Cayden and Cora, were all born at Beloit Memorial Hospital.
"This is amazing," said Jennifer Krueger, who was born at the hospital in 1981. Being a hometown girl, she also had her children at the Beloit hospital. And there was another reason she was at the anniversary celebration to support the hospital.
"I worked here as a medical assistant for 12 years," she said.
Janice Braswell was at the anniversary celebration with her grandchildren, Jayden, 7, and Lorelei, 4, both of whom were born at the Beloit hospital.
"We're enjoying the meet and greet and we're here to support the hospital," Janice Braswell said.
Visitors were welcomed to tour the hospital and get their "passport" booklet stamped in each of six areas - the Emergency Department, radiology, the laboratory, the auditorium, the Family Care Center and the Hendricks Family Heart Hospital. Once they visited each area and their passport was filled, they qualified for prizes.
A cupcake tent, face painting, carnival rides and other attractions also were part of the celebration.
Construction on Beloit Memorial Hospital on West Hart Road began in 1969 and the first patients were admitted in 1970. Beloit Memorial Hospital and Beloit Clinic merged in 2010 to form Beloit Health System. Today, the health system employs nearly 1,600 people and has medical facilities throughout the Stateline Area including the Beloit/UW Cancer Care Center, Beloit Occupational Health and Sports Medicine, Beloit Regional Hospice, NorthPointe Health and Wellness Campus, the Clinton Clinic and more.